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 This is part of SB Nation’s new FanPulse tool. Sign up for the Cowboys FanPulse here to take our weekly surveys.One of the things each fan base is asked every week has to do with their upcoming game and the confidence surrounding it , from a point-spread perspective. Fans are asked how many points they expect their team to win or lose by. It’s interesting to see which fan bases have the best grip on their team so far this season.Cowboys fans are feeling confident for the final game before the byeFanPulse taught us this week that Cowboys fans are back, sort of. This particular fan base experienced the fourth-largest jump in confidence across all SB Nation sites and after a 40-7 win how could you expect the needle not to move a bit?This game is big for the 2018 Cowboys’ cause. First place in the NFC East is up for grabs. A win would also give them their first on the road, their first winning streak on the season, and it would set them up for a nice bye weekthat’ll feature a Redskins/Giants game and the Eagles playing the Jaguars in London.All of that confidence, hope, and eyeing down the road had seemingly created a gazpacho of belief that the Cowboys will get things done this week. Although to be fair this group has sort of struggled at accurately predicting games this season.Cowboys FanPulse predictions this season:Week 1: FanPulse predicts Cowboys win by 6 (Panthers), Cowboys lose by 8Week 2: FanPulse predicts Cowboys win by 4 (Giants), Cowboys win by 7Week 3: FanPulse predicts Cowboys win by 6 (Seahawks), Cowboys lose by 11Week 4: FanPulse predicts Cowboys lose by 1 (Lions), Cowboys win by 2Week 5: FanPulse predicts Cowboys win by 4 (Texans), Cowboys lose by 3Week 6: FanPulse predicts Cowboys lose by 5 (Jaguars), Cowboys win by 33Cowboys FanPulse season record: 1-5Redskins fans have a weird sense of not really confidenceThe general feeling across the NFL this season is that save for a handful of top and bottom teams the whole league is wildly unpredictable. In the same way that the Cowboys have an embarrassing loss to the Texans, Washington lost to the Colts. It’s a week to week league.Those that have made the mistake in life of supporting the D.C. football franchise correctly anticipated beating the Cardinals (shocker there) and even the Panthers last week. Plenty of football fans were indeed shocked to see Carolina fall to the Redskins, but again things are unpredictable.You’d imagine that due to them coming off of a win, and considering that the fan base has predicted a win in four of their five games, that Redskins truthers would feel confident in the state of their team... but they don’t. Washington is one of the only teams coming off of a win to have actually regressed in confidence despite winning last week. It’s weird.Redskins FanPulse predictions this season:Week 1: FanPulse predicts Redskins win by 6 (Cardinals), Redskins win by 18Week 2: FanPulse predicts Redskins win by 9 (Colts), Redskins lose by 12Week 3: FanPulse predicts Redskins lose by 5 (Packers), Redskins win by 14Week 4: BYEWeek 5: FanPulse predicts Redskins win by 4 (Saints), Redskins lose by 24Week 6: FanPulse predicts Redskins win by 2 (Panthers), Redskins win by 6Redskins FanPulse season record: 2-3Both Cowboys and Redskins fans are predicting wins this SundayBarring a tie (there have certainly been more than enough this season) someone is going to walk away unhappy this Sunday at FedEx Field. Obviously we’re hoping it’s the Redskins, but everyone involved believes it’ll be the other team.Cowboys fans are predicting a win by 3Redskins fans are predicting a win by 6This is interesting to consider when you start looking at various odds given to this game. Oddsshark has the Redskins favored by two at the time of this writing, almost halfway between where the two fan bases lie. Who will be right? Who will be wrong? Considering Dallas has won every game played between the two teams over the last two years there are certainly a different sort of odds that lie in their favor. Let’s hope those win out. The secret is out: The Cowboys suck on third down. Their conversion rate for the whole season is 33.3% (34 of 102). That’s hideous and ranks the Cowboys 28th in the league, just ahead of the inept offenses of the Browns, Jets, Bills, and Cardinals. Here’s Calvin Watkins of The Athletic, laying the blame for the Cowboys’ third-down woessquarely at Prescott’s feet.A lot of people will reflexively blame this on the quarterback, and while that’s not entirely wrong, it’s not entirely right either. Watkins does add the following quote from Jason Garrett, who points out that the inability to execute on third down goes beyond the just the QB:Still, a lot of the discussion about the Cowboys over the last week has centered on Prescott Womens Joe Looney Jersey , so let’s examine Prescott in a little more statistical detail.Watkins uses Prescott’s passer rating and completion percentage to illustrate Prescott’s struggles on third down, and that’s a good starting point. So let’s extend that a little and look at Prescott’s passer rating and completion percentage across all three downs: Interestingly, Prescott’s passer rating on first down (91.7) ranks him 19th among 34 QBs with at least 100 pass attempts through Week 9. Similarly, his rating on second down (95.9) ranks him 20th. But on third down, he drops to 30th (74.0), barely ahead of part-time QBs like C.J. Beathard (65.0), Ryan Tannehill (57.4), Josh Allen (41.1), and Josh Rosen (39.1).So here’s the key question: What’s happening on third downs that turns an otherwise average QB into a bottom-of-the-league passer? To get a better handle on that question, we have to move beyond passer rating. One of the issues with passer rating is that it rates an eight-yard gain on third-and-10 more favorably than a two-yard gain on third-and-one. But the game of football is predicated on “moving the sticks” to achieve a new set of downs. So when looking at third-down performance we need to understand a team’s, or a QB’s, ability to gain a first down in such situations, and not just look at some random yardage numbers that don’t tell you anything about the ability or inability to move the sticks.One metric that does that is a stat called “Failed Completions” which denotes the percentage of attempts that a quarterback threw short of the minimum yards needed for a successful play. On first down, a play is considered a success if it gains 45 percent of needed yards; on second down, a play needs to gain 60 percent of needed yards; on third or fourth down, only gaining a new first down (or scoring a TD) is considered success.Here’s the Failed Completions Percentage on first, second, and third downs for the 34 quarterbacks who have had a minimum of 100 pass attempts through Week 9 this year. For your convenience, the table is sortable (just click on the blue column headers).Failed Completion percentage through Week 9, 2018 On first down, Prescott ranks in the top 10 of all passers by failed completion percentage; only 15.2% of his completions fail to get at least 45% of the required yardage on first down. One second down, Prescott ranks just outside the top ten (13th) with a failed completion percentage of 21.4%. Combined, Prescott has a failed completion percentage of just 18.6% (19 failed completions on 90 total completions) on first and second down, which ranks as the ninth best value in the NFL.The numbers here are clear: The Cowboys have a quarterback who reliably delivers the required yards on first and second down, never mind what some hothead on Twitter may claim about his accuracy, reads, or footwork.That doesn’t mean Prescott is perfect, far from it. He still has issues with his mechanics, he doesn’t throw downfield enough, and his completion percentage isn’t where it should be. But on first and second down, the Cowboys’ passing game with Prescott at the helm is keeping the offense “on schedule.”The Cowboys are a run-first, ball-control offense. As such Youth Kavon Frazier Jersey , the entire offense is predicated on staying on schedule with a high percentage of runs and a lot of short passes on first and second down that are designed to get the team into manageable third-down situations. But this year, things went to hell in a hand basket on third down for Prescott and the Cowboys, where Prescott has a staggering failed completion rate of 51.4%, the worst value of any QB on the list above.So the question again is: What is happening on third downs that turns a top 10 QB in terms of failed completions on first and second downs into the worst-ranked passer in the league on third downs? To get a better feel for that, here’s a look at how Prescott’s failed completions compare between his standout rookie season in 2016 and this year: Again, the numbers are clear: On first and second down, Dak Prescott is playing as efficiently as he did in 2016, regardless of the many hot takes out there claiming otherwise. Sure, defenses may be more willing to give up the underneath stuff, and that might influence the numbers, but that’s impossible to quantify.So if Prescott is playing as well today on first and second down as he did two years ago, then the failure on third down must be due to more than just the “DAK SUCKZ!!!” battle cry of disappointed fans. And Roger Staubach seems to agree:You’d think that one of those “other things” might be the length of third downs in 2018, on the assumption that the Cowboys are facing more 3rd-and-long situations than they did in 2016, which would make it harder to convert for a first down. Surprisingly though, that’s not the case. The average yards-to-go on third down this year is 7.98 which is only marginally higher than the 7.32 in 2016.What’s a lot more interesting to look at is who Dak Prescott is throwing to on third down. In 2016, Prescott threw the most completions on third down to Cole Beasley (23 completions), Jason Witten (18), and Ezekiel Elliott (11). In 2018, the slot guy, the running back, and the tight end continue to get the most completions, even though the name of the tight end has changed. Cole Beasley (14), Ezekiel Elliott (10), and Geoff Swaim (4) are the Cowboys’ leading receivers in terms of completions on third downs this year. Here’s how their numbers compare: Cole Beasley had a spectacular year in 2016, when only two of his 23 receptions on third down (8.7%) were failed completions that ended up short of the sticks. Beasley that year was a veritable first-down machine, but that was then, and this is now: with a failed completion percentage of 42.9% Beasley isn’t even an average player anymore, as the NFL failed completion average on third down for the 34 quarterbacks we looked at above is 30.5%.Also in 2016, we were already seeing that Jason Witten was no longer a reliable target on third down, and his 55.6% failed completion percentage documents that. Unfortunately, his replacement in 2018 hasn’t improved on that number. Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t and isn’t a viable option on third down passes. 18 of the 21 passes completed to Elliott on third down in 2016 and 2018 were failed completions. Essentially, throwing to Elliott on third down is equivalent to punting. Elliott’s numbers are obviously hurt by him being Checkdown Charlie on third downs Youth Jaylon Smith Jersey , but why Elliott remains a part of the game plan on passing third downs - beyond being an extra blocker - is a mystery.That still leaves the other receivers and other running backs and their effectiveness on third down.The Cowboys have seen wholesale change among the wide receivers above, but the results have remained surprisingly consistent: When Dak Prescott completes a pass these wide receivers on third down it usually results in a first down. Again, Prescott also needs to improve his completion percentage on third downs, but it looks like who he throws to is a much bigger determinant of third-down success than how accurate he is with his throw.So why do the Cowboys continue to dump off passes on third down to their slot guy, their running back, and their tight end?Is it because Prescott doesn’t see the supposedly open guys downfield, or is it because those receivers can’t get separation once they are beyond the sticks? Or is it because the Cowboys hardly ever try to scheme their wide receivers open, instead hoping for each WR to win his one-on-one matchup on his own? Or is it because the offensive line can’t hold off the pass rush long enough for the receivers to get open beyond the sticks? Or is it because the offensive coordinator continues to call plays featuring an ineffective Beasley, Elliott, and Swaim?Since Beasley’s breakout year in 2016, opposing defenses have regularly put him in bracket coverage, and have essentially removed him as an effective third-down threat. The Jaguars are the only team so far this season not to do so and were promptly burned by Beasley for a season-high 101 yards. Even more significantly, Beasley had four successful third-down conversions against the Jaguars, which is as exactly as much as he had against the remaining seven opponents combined!So if you know that Beasley is going to get bracket coverage, why continue calling plays designed to get him the ball on third down? If you know you’re QB might be prone to dump off the ball to the RB on third down, and that those plays almost never succeed, why have a running back on the field on passing third downs in the first place?And if you know that you have a high success rate throwing to your wide receivers on third down, but that they have trouble getting sufficient separation beyond the sticks, why not scheme to get them open with rub routes or pick plays? Or perhaps aligning your receivers a little more often in bunch or stack formations in order to gain a little bit of free space for them to operate in?Many of the issues with the Cowboys’ third-down offense are home-made, and when the next pass is completed short of the sticks, it is the culmination of a lot of things that have gone wrong before Prescott even threw the ball. A lot goes into the successful execution of third-down play, starting with the right play-call, the proper blocking by the O-line, receivers who can get open beyond the sticks, and a QB who can deliver the ball.The numbers show that throwing to Ezekiel Elliott on third down is essentially equivalent to punting. So why do the Cowboys continue doing it?When opposing defenses took away Cole Beasley as a reliable first-down machine, the Cowboys had no answers.In this context, I’d be looking very, very hard at the guy in charge of the offense and play-calling.But sure, let’s focus only on Prescott and his shortcomings.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league had been receiving regular reports regarding the condition of the field since September. And it was a report that arrived Authentic Cooper Kupp Jersey on Sunday — after a November 7 concert and a November 10 soccer match — that spurred action.The NFL proceeded on Monday and Tuesday with previously scheduled meetings and inspections. Ultimately, the decision came less than 24 hours after the league surveyed the field on Monday afternoon.Reasonable minds may differ as to whether the league should have relocated the game before Tuesday. Regardless of whether it was relocation or resodding of the field or replacement of the surface with FieldTurf, something should have been done before this week.Apparently, the plan was to continue to receive regular reports about the condition of the field until Monday, at which time an inspection would occur and a decision would be made about whether to relocate the game. If that was the plan, the league should consider a new approach for future games in Mexico or elsewhere.Whether it’s more aggressive efforts to inspect the field or a more proactive approach to identifying alternatives or a bright-line rule that there will be no other events on the field for a month (for example) before the looming NFL game, this near-miss should prompt the league to take a step back and consider how to ensure that near misses won’t happen moving forward when it comes to the ongoing desire to play NFL games in other countries.Which Los Angeles Rams will still be on the roster when the new stadium opens in 2020? Last week, I emerged from a cloud of indecision and finally decided to bite the bullet and reserve a seat at the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood for 2020. Ever since my purchase, at least once a day I catch myself gazing at my pdf of the simulated view from my future seat as I drool. During one of these hypnotic drool sessions, I got to wondering which current Rams will most likely be there to take the field on opening day in 2020. Obviously the Rams’ top draft picks over the next two seasons will be there, but which players from this season’s powerhouse will most likely still be around? Keep in mind, this is not a list based on talent alone. Existing (and reasonable) contracts rank a player higher and more likely to be around long-term. Also, the Rams have displayed a tendency to prioritize protecting QB Jared Goff, and providing him with weapons, over positions in places like the secondary. And will the Rams find cap space to retain talented players like DL Michael Brockers Authentic Rob Havenstein Jersey , LG Rodger Saffold or LB Cory Littleton when they hit the open market?Top 20 Rams most likely to still be on the team when the new stadium opens (2020)1.) QB Jared GoffBarring some catastrophe, Goff will spend the majority of career in Inglewood. In 2020, if the Rams haven’t already worked out an extension, the club can exercise Goff’s fifth-year option, which would pay him the average of the Top 10 quarterbacks at that time.2) DL Aaron DonaldDonald will be right in the thick of his freshly signed extension in 2020, and will still be in his prime. If the Rams ever did part ways with Problem 99, it wouldn’t be until at least 2022, but then again, why would they do that? 3) RB Todd GurleyYes, running backs have a shelf life but Gurley is such a key element in the Rams attack. He’s becoming just the type of transcendent star to help make the Stan Canyon what the Forum once was, during the Showtime Lakers era. Of course, things can change quickly in the NFL, but Gurley’s new deal makes it seem very likely he’ll be around until at least 2021 or 2022. 4) WR Cooper KuppStill playing out his rookie deal at a modest $1.19m in 2020, Kupp will be a Ram, and Jared Goff will feel happy.5) WR Brandin CooksThe Rams have an out in 2021 if they want it, but until then they are married to Cooks, and so far the marriage has been wonderful.6) P Johnny HekkerCurrently locked in until 2022 Womens Robert Woods Jersey , Hekker will be probably still be a Ram in the year 2035. Heck, if not for the dead money that some of the bulkier deals would present, he might be at the top of this list.7) WR Robert WoodsSet to make $7.17m, Woods is a major bargain for the team, especially when looking at other deals that receivers have been getting lately. There wouldn’t be a ton of dead money if Woods and Rams did part ways, but it seems unlikely that will happen any time soon.8) S John Johnson IIIJohnson will be on the final year of his rookie deal, playing for just under a million dollars. The question will be what happens with Johnson in 2021?9) OL Joseph NoteboomNoteboom will likely have gained a starting position on the Rams offensive line by 2020, and will still be playing on his rookie deal.10) RT Rob HavensteinThe team could move on from Big Rob by 2020 should he flounder, but most likely he will represent a fair deal and some continuity for the Rams line.11) CB Nickell Robey-ColemanRobey-Coleman will be set to make $4.5m in 2020, and with Aqib Talib, and possibly Sam Shields moving on by then, there will be plenty of motivation to keep NRC in the mix.12) CB Marcus PetersPeters likely figures into the Rams long-term plans, but so far his audition has been slowed a by a calf strain.13) OL Austin BlytheBlythe has been impressive this season, and will still be under his rookie contract next year. It seems like the Rams would lean toward retaining the young guard, as they also consider their options regarding upcoming free agents Jamon Brown and/or Rodger Saffold.14) DL John Franklin-MyersFranklin-Myers has looked solid so far in his rookie season. Still playing under his rookie deal, and with Suh (and possibly Brockers) departing by 2020, JFM will still be a Ram.15) LG Rodger Saffold IIISaffold has become an elder-statesmen in the locker room , who remembers the lean years. He has also become a heck of a player. If his health continues to hold up, he could earn a nice paycheck after this season as he enters free agency. Saff has indicated that he may be willing to take a slight shave to remain part of what has become a special team. Hopefully common ground can be found to retain Saffold.16) LS Jake McQuaideOf course McQuide will be there, Coach Bones wouldn’t have it any other way. The Pro Bowl long snapper is due $975k in 2020.17) DL Michael BrockersBrockers is a key element in the Rams defense, and it would be painful to lose his services at any point. When he becomes a free agent in 2020, it seems likely that he’ll receive some healthy offers. Will the Rams be able to clear enough space to keep Brockers next to Donald?18) S Marqui ChristianIf the Rams end up moving on from safety LaMarcus Joyner as they’ve done with other secondary studs like Rodney McLeod, Trumaine Johnson, and Janoris Jenkins in the past; Christian is a piece they’d like to keep. His rookie deal will be up in 2019.19) EDGE Samson EbukamEbukam is doing a pretty good job so far this year, and is likely stick around for the remainder of his rookie deal, which runs through 2020. However, Ebukam is currently on a pace to complete the season with only four sacks. If that ends up being the case, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to think the Rams may end up going in a completely different direction on the edge.20) TE Gerald EverettStill on his rookie deal in 2020, maybe Everett will have become a solid contributor by then. We can always hope right?*I totally wanted to write the name Andrew Whitworth on this list, but we’ll see how he feels after a couple more seasons. Health!

 Rex Grossman. Kyle Orton. Brian Hoyer.Jay Cutler. Mike Glennon (OK. Maybe not Glennon). And now, Mitch Trubisky. Half of Bears fans are remaining patient with the youngster, believing he’ll develop into a franchise QB with more experience. The other half believe he’s complete trash that is incapable of developing into a Youth Taylor Gabriel Jersey competent starter in the NFL. The more things change, the more they stay the same.In light of that polarization, we’re going to have a quick look at his tape (and that of one Patrick Mahomes), and have an honest, yet delicate conversation using a management technique known as the Compliment Sandwich. For those unfamiliar, you offer a compliment, then a critique, and then another compliment. The goal, is to deliver criticism in a more palatable way, with the goal that it will be accepted more easily than straight criticism. And yes, I learn all my business etiquette from Family Guy.We don’t all have MBAs, ya know!This is far from an exhaustive list, but hopefully we can take an objective look at his play, point out the good, point out the bad, and everyone can find some common ground. Or I’ll just piss off everyone equally. Honestly, that’s probably more likely.We’ll find out soon enough.Sandwich 1Compliment Trubisky has thrown some excellent tight window passes. When he knows where he’s going, and has time to set his feet, he can deliver very accurate balls.Critique Though it wasn’t a completion, this was also a good tight window throw with excellent ball placement. However, both Howard AND Miller were open in the flats for much easier completions with a yard after the catch potential that Burton didn’t have. So this is a failure of vision more than execution.Compliment For as good as Patrick Mahomes looks (and he does look good), he hasn’t been asked to throw into many tight windows through two games. His receivers consistently get excellent separation (90% open throw rate beyond the LOS, meaning a step or more of separation, by far the best in the league), which is a luxury Trubisky hasn’t been afforded often. This makes some of the comparisons between the two a bit tougher to judge:Sandwich 2Compliment This back shoulder fade to Allen Robinson is a thing of beauty. He’s clearly capable of putting touch on intermediate and deep passes when he’s comfortable. This ball couldn’t have been placed anywhere else and been caught.Critique This ATTEMPTED back shoulder fade to Allen Robinson is the exact opposite of a thing of beauty. The pocket held for 4 seconds, he went through his progressions calmly, but by the time he realized Robinson had a step on the defender, the pocket was shrinking and he hurried the throw. The lack of drive caused it to fall well short, and, you know the rest. Speeding up his recognition would help this a lot.Compliment This floater to Cohen was really nice. He nearly threw to him on the hitch route early, but pulled it back when Cohen lost his footing a bit. Immediately after, the pressure started to get close, so he wiggled out to get some space. He continued to look down field while drifting to his right, and put up a nice 25 air yarder to an ad libbing Cohen who turned his hitch route into an elongated hitch n’ go.Sandwich 3Compliment This touchdown pass to Anthony Miller is fantastic. He’s rolling to his left , sees Miller come open, and delivers a strike that travels 20 yards through the air with a guy in his face. It’s the kind of play you want your QB to be able to make in the redzone to help close out a game (someone needs to get Miller a dance instructor though, because, damn).Critique This throw into coverage in the endzone was... not good on, like, a bunch of levels. First, he had Gabriel open in the endzone for basically, the ENTIRE play. Just look at him, standing there, all alone at the top of the screen. He seemed to look in his direction for a moment, but was flushed by the pressure from the edge. He escaped it and rolled to his left, but never really reset. So when he FINALLY went to Gabriel (or Cohen, by this time they were both in the vicinity), the ball was very low. Had he set his feet and drove the ball, he could have placed it over the defenders heads where only Gabriel had a shot at it (or simply looked his way at the beginning of the play). This SHOULD have been a TD. Instead, it was nearly a pick.Compliment Tyreek Hill catches this ball. Not that it was a particularly wise throw from either QB, but none the less, this shows some of the differences between Trubisky and Mahomes respective situations, and why comparisons between the two need to keep context in mind.Sandwich 4Compliment In just his 3rd pass of the season, Trubisky delivered a nice ball to Gabriel on a deep out. The ball traveled 28 yards in the air, and the play wound up going for 31 yards total. Another sign that when he knows where he’s going, and feels comfortable, he can deliver deep and intermediate passes with force and accuracy.Critique All these overthrows. Not good. Not good at all. Gotta settle down, set your feet and drive the ball young man.Compliment Trubisky isn’t alone in sailing the ball. Mahomes has more than a few overthrows as well. All Qbs over throw receivers occasionally, especially young ones. So both these guys should see these things clean up with experience.There now, don’t we all feel better? We got some constructive criticism out there for the bad, while softening the blow with praise for the good. There’s plenty that needs worked on, but in this world of hot takes and twitter rage, we shouldn’t lose sight of the positives. Obviously there are reasons for concern, but there’s more than enough promise to build off of here for MT10... so lets all try and keep some perspective moving forward.Every errant pass doesn’t make him trash, and every rifle shot into a tight window doesn’t make him an all-pro. He’s simply a young QB, in a new offense, learning on the job. We should all expect inconsistency at least for a while. In the mean time, we should endeavor to keep our hot takes luke warm, and try and enjoy the ride. Just remember, you don’t get extra points if your predictions about Trubisky come true , so try not to fall victim to defending a preconceived belief regardless of what is actually happening. No one cares if you were right in July, no matter which way you leaned.If he does something good, praise him. If he does something bad, chide him. Don’t simply wait for something to happen that fits your pre-arranged narrative, and pounce.And, as always, remember the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln: Be excellent to each other.(Note:Writing isn’t particularly my thing, so you shouldn’t expect a TON of non-graphics related articles from me.I do, however, occasionally have an idea pop into my head that I feel compelled to jot down, grammar mistakes and all.This just happened to be one of those times.) The streak continued Sunday, as the Chicago Bears failed to win a game coming out of the bye week for the fifth straight season. The roller-coaster ride of a game was probably one that was best to view as a fan outside of either team. Regardless, the Bears are now 3-2 as they head home to face a red hot 4-2 New England Patriots team. Even with a Packers win tonight, the Bears will hold the tie-breaker due to less games played, so for a fourth straight week, they’ll hold onto first place.While there was plenty of bad to go around in the 31-28 overtime lose, there was still plenty of good that happened Sunday afternoon. For more on who received Week 6’s game balls, let’s dive in. WR Taylor GabrielDouglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsWhen the Bears signed the 27-year-old back in March, most people believed his four-year, $26 million deal was an overpay. I’d be curious to see how many still feel the same after five games.Gabriel has been arguably their best receiver so far and continues to show the ability to stretch the field, which in turn has helped Trubisky’s big turnaround over the past two weeks (more on that in a few). On Sunday, the former Falcon broke the 100-yard mark for the second straight game with five catches for 110 yards. In those five catches were two deep balls, including a very impressive jump ball that the 5’8 receiver went up over a defensive back and pulled down. It’s becoming very clear that Gabriel’s role in this offense will continue to stay and could even grow as he and Trubisky gain more of a connection.Here’s an early season argument that could be made for Gabriel right now; he may have been the team’s best acquisition this off-season, not named Khalil Mack.Honorable Mention: QB Mitchell TrubiskySteve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSpeaking of the offense, Trubisky rebounded from a lackluster first half and finished the game 22/31 (71%) for 316 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.Now I’m not going to debate that his interception in the end zone could partially be blamed for them losing the game. But I will say this: The same people saying Trubisky didn’t have a good game because of the interception, are the same ones that will ignore Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes interceptions on a weekly basis due to yardage and points.Simply put, Trubisky was one of three offensive players to turn the ball over and all three were in big situations. I’m not going to say Tarik Cohen had a bad game because of his fumble that ultimately caused overtime either.The second-yard quarterback’s improvements have been on full display over the last two games and there’s no denying that he’s taking large strides to becoming the player everyone hopes he can be. The fact that he was able to rebound from a slow start and continues to throw multiple touchdown passes in games is a very promising development that Bears fans should be happy about.CB Kyle FullerDouglas DeFelice-USA TODAY SportsTo put it lightly, the defense had its worst performance to date in 2018. For the first time all year, the gave up over 24 points per game and more importantly couldn’t get to the quarterback. They finished with zero sacks and only four quarterback hits against a team with a banged up offensive line, who was starting their statue of a backup quarterback in Brock Osweiler.Despite that, Fuller’s two interceptions stood out.On a day where the Bears defense gave up a total of 541 yards and 31 points, there wasn’t much to be happy about but Fuller’s two impressive plays on the ball should give fans hope that may he can turn around what has been an up and down season so far. Especially coming off his brand new four-year deal that was worth over $14 million per year with plenty of guaranteed money. With Prince Amukamara’s hamstring still an issue (he left in the second half after reaggravating it), Fuller’s presence will be big over the next few weeks.Oh and the Bears already have more interceptions through five games this year than they did all last season.

The 2-1 Bengals will be facing off against the 1-2 Falcons in Atlanta this week. Cincinnati is trying to get back to their winning ways, but Matt Ryan has Atlanta’s offense firing on all cylinders. It is the Falcons defense that has been giving the team troubles. The Bengals’ defense hasn’t been much Youth Preston Brown Jersey better, so this could quickly turn into a shootout. How do the experts and oddsmakers see this one working out though?OddsThe Bengals are currently four-point underdogs to the Falcons, according to Bovada. The Falcons opened up as 5.5-point favorites, so clearly oddsmakers are coming are coming around on the Bengals as the game gets closer. Most of that probably has to do with A.J. Green likely playing.The over/under is sitting at 53.5 points. That is pretty high, but then again the games the Bengals have played in have all gone over that but one when each team only combined for 52 points. Here are some trends for both teamsCincinnati is 4-1 against the spread in its last five gamesCincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last five gamesThe total has gone over in 4 of Cincinnati’s last five gamesCincinnati is 4-2 against the spread in its last six games on the roadCincinnati is 5-12 straight up in its last 17 games on the roadThe total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last six games on the roadThe total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last seven games when playing AtlantaThe total has gone under in eight of Atlanta’s last 10 gamesAtlanta is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games at homeAtlanta is 5-2 straight up in its last seven games at homeThe total has gone over in 15 of Atlanta’s last 21 games at homeThe total has gone under in six of Atlanta’s last nine games at homeThe total has gone over in five of Atlanta’s last seven games when playing CincinnatiPicksFox Sports projects a 23.2 to 24.2 loss for the BengalsOnly one of ESPN’s 10 experts picked the BengalsOnly three of SB Nation’s seven experts picked CincinnatiCBS Sports has three of eight experts going with the BengalsNFL Pick Watch, which gathers all the picks from across the web, has 83 percent for the picks in favor of the FalconsIt seems it only took one loss for everyone to jump off the Bengals bandwagon. Cincinnati has to be use to having to prove themselves at this point. They haven’t made the playoffs in two seasons, and if they hope to change that they will have to beat teams like the Falcons. It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals through their first seven contests. The past two losses have been particularly rough Authentic Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , for polar opposite reasons. Still, at 4-3, they are alive in the division and AFC playoff picture. However, if they are to make a run to turn things around from two straight losing seasons, they will need to fix their focus on a number of areas on the team. Here are a few friendly suggestions to Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis. Don’t be afraid to make lineup changes and/or play other young players:There are facets to the Bengals’ style of play that have been effective this year, but others that have been not so great. The easiest place to look is at the right side of the offensive line. After letting up six more pressures on Sunday night, guard Alex Redmond is on pace to allow 73 this year. The most given up by any guard last season was 44. Can Christian Westerman really be that much worse of an option, or is it simply something that points back to Lewis’ “practice the right way” mantra? Additionally, Bobby Hart seems to be good for killing about 1-2 drives a game with some sort of penalty or other issue. There’s no doubt that the return of Billy Price will give the coaches some things to think about. Trey Hopkins hasn’t been outstanding at center, but he’s been capable, which is saying something because right guard is his primary position. Might a Price/Hopkins lineup help things?Things haven’t been much better on the defensive line Womens Bobby Hart Jersey , either. Some of the better performances and big plays up front have come from heavy rotations of guys like Sam Hubbard, Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson. However, Michael Johnson is still receiving more snaps than some of these youngsters and that’s tough to see. This is especially true, given the fact that he had some missed tackles on Kareem Hunt on Sunday night. We don’t like to individually point out certain players, especially a great guy like Johnson, but similar issues keep recurring. And, at times when certain seasons have been lost under Lewis and he finally decided to give some young guys more chances, it’s led to some improbable wins. Feed Joe Mixon at least 25 times a game:Mixon was averaging a whopping 5.8 yards per carry against the Steelers and is currently at 4.6 on the year. It’s a big jump from his 3.5 average in 2017, and points to at some improvement up front on the offensive line, as well as his increased comfort level in the scheme. He only had a 3.8 yard average against the Chiefs, but some gashing runs were still available. Mixon has also improved a bit as a receiver this season Womens Ryan Glasgow Jersey , making some difficult catches. Currently, Mixon is averaging 20 touches per contest (16.8 rushes, 3.2 catches). With the injuries piling up at the pass-catching positions (Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, John Ross, Giovani Bernard), and a lack of growth shown from Cody Core and Josh Malone, the need to rely on the run a bit more should be a priority. It will take some heat off of Andy Dalton and potentially keep the offense in more manageable third down situations. Look for outside help before the trade deadline:This one very well may be a pipe dream, given the conservative nature of this franchise, but it’s something definitely worth exploring. The Arizona Cardinals reportedly have a trio of talented defensive players on the trading block in Patrick Peterson, Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon Womens Ryan Glasgow Jersey , which could immediately help Cincinnati’s beleaguered defensive unit. Given who owner Mike Brown is and this team’s reluctance to spend big-time money on outside help, Peterson isn’t a reality. However, Reddick is on the second year of a manageable rookie deal, while Bucannon could potentially help the ever-lingering problem of covering tight ends. That’s just scratching the surface of what’s out there, though. Help because of injuries (tight end) or ineffectiveness at certain positions (offensive line) seems to be needed in a big way. They definitely can make a move to improve their team down the stretch. It’s really about organizational attitude here. If you really think you’re very close this year and one or two additions can push you back into being atop the AFC North, you do it. However, seeing as how that’s been the perception about the team the past few seasons when free agency rolls around and Cincinnati remains relatively quiet on that front, we aren’t expecting much on this front—even it is an effective strategy.

 Dallas didn’t get lit up in the same way on the scoreboard, but they did get beat up in almost ever facet of the game. The Womens Allen Hurns Jersey Cowboys were outplayed in almost every way by the Seahawks, and it was ugly.They lost the game, but there was more losing than that (and winning!). Here are our five winners, five losers, and everything else in between. Winner: The shot that Earl Thomas calledIt was on December 24th, 2017 when Earl Thomas chased down Jason Garrett and pleaded with him to “go get him” from Seattle. Jason Garrett and the Cowboys tried, but they were unsuccessful. It hurt them that they couldn’t pull it off. Thomas had not one, but two interceptions off of Dak Prescott, granted they both came off of tipped balls. To make matters worse he poured salt in the wound when he took a bow towards the Cowboys sideline after the second one.Oh well. Winner: Those that don’t believe in Dak PrescottFor a long time I thought that the internet had never seen anything like the Dak Prescott and Tony Romo debate of 2016 , but then the 2018 season happened.He hasn’t exactly had help around him (or from his coaches), but Dak Prescott has been quite bad so far on this young season. Take a look at his day on Sunday.Not a single attempt beyond 15 yards. That’s quite telling. This subject isn’t going away.Winner: The rest of the NFC EastWeek 2 was quite nice to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys within the NFC East because they were the only team from it to walk away with a victory. Those were the days.Week 3 was not so kind to the rooters of America’s Team. The world saw the Philadelphia Eagles (Indianapolis Colts), Washington Redskins (Green Bay Packers), and New York Giants (Houston Texans) all walk away with wins on Sunday. The Cowboys lost. That’s not good.It’s still very early in the season and a lot is going to change, but it’s never a good thing to be the only team in your division to lose. That’s how you fall further and further behind.Winner: Brett Maher, which is something positiveWe’re finally at a point where the dust from releasing Dan Bailey has settled (he lost this week, too), and part of the reason for that is Brett Maher. The 28-year-old rookie has been perfect since missing his first ever kick, and that’s kind of an awesome thing.Dallas is resorting to a lot of field goals and look like they’re going to be for some time in the near future. At the very least they have a good kicker at their back, and things could definitely be worse in that regard.Winner: The idea of using Tavon Austin, sort ofGuess what? The Dallas Cowboys ran a jet sweep with Tavon Austin! The jet sweep is one of the more predictable plays for the Cowboys whether it’s Lucky Whitehead Womens Antwaun Woods Jersey , Ryan Switzer, or Tavon Austin running it. Not only did they jet sweep Tavon though, the Cowboys used the ‘ol shovel pass with him coming in motion that’s become popular across the NFL.It’s definitely great to see the Cowboys finally taking pages out of other coaches playbooks, but that shuffle pass has been going on for a few seasons now. The Cowboys are a little late to the party, but the play did result in a touchdown so there’s that.Loser: Ezekiel Elliott’s utilizationThe Dallas Cowboys run the ball on every first down, and that’s a problem. The Dallas Cowboys also aren’t running enough, and that’s a problem that’s also possible.Not running enough can be problematic because the Dallas Cowboys employ Ezekiel Elliott. They are using him at an alarmingly low rate.In defense of the idea of not using Zeke (that’s not a good idea, mind you) the Cowboys tried to go to him a few times and he let them down. Elliott stepped out of bounds before catching what would have been a great touchdown, and he fumbled after a nice gain downfield, ending whatever hope that drive had.This is not fun.Loser: The idea of getting sacks all the time, even against bad offensive linesRussell Wilson had been sacked six times in each game before he played the Cowboys. Dallas was coming off of a six sack performance themselves Womens Jaylon Smith Jersey , so things looked like they were coming up Hot Boyz in Seattle.Dallas only managed to corral Wilson twice. TWO TIMES. The Cowboys were unable to get to a quarterback that people were getting to at a historic rate, and they were unable to do so even with Kris Richard calling defensive plays. Loser: The second and third quarters when it comes to things that matterThe season is now three games old, and do you know how many touchdowns the Cowboys have scored in the second and third quarters? The answer would be zero.Dallas has actually scored a majority of their season’s touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but one came in Carolina that was near the end and the same is true in regards to the Austin one in Seattle. Dallas is having a very difficult time scoring, and they’re really only doing so when no one is trying their hardest to stop them.Loser: Any chance of being road warriors this seasonIn past years where the Cowboys have had serious success we’ve seen them pull off impressive records on the road. The Cowboys have played two games away from AT&T Stadium this season, and they’ve left with a loss in both instances.Dallas isn’t exactly known for being able to win at home so they’ve needed road wins in seasons past. They’re going to need to find some before this season is over.Loser: The NFL rulebook... yet againTyrone Crawford was penalized early on in the game because of the NFL’s new idea that defensive players can’t sack quarterbacks. It was terrible.Jerry Jones wasn’t too thrilled about this (as the Green Bay Packers were not in their game), but this is the way the NFL wants their game to be called. It’s unfortunate, and Tyrone Crawford even had a health scare after what should have been a punt for the Seahawks. This won’t sit well with folks for long.There were only five listed losers, but it felt like there were many more in Seattle. Dallas is 1-2 for the first time under Jason Garrett, but they do have winnable games coming up versus Detroit and in Houston.It’s going to be a long week with the Cowboys with many more questions about their offense and coaching staff to deal with. The only way for them to rid themselves of those is for their offense to perform at a higher level. Will it happen? Or won’t it?Cowboys vs. Texans final injury report: Frederick, Lee and Williams ruled out The final injury report for the Cowboys and Texans game is in. There isn’t much on it that we didn’t already expect based on Jason Garrett’s press conferences. Sean Lee Womens Deonte Thompson Jersey , Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams have all been ruled out of the game on Sunday night.Additionally, Maliek Collins, Chidobe Awuzie and Antwaun Woods are listed as questionable. Awuzie seems like he’s good to go. Collins would be a great addition to have back, but we probably won’t know his status until Sunday.As for Randy Gregory and David Irving?The official report has Randy Gregory listed as a non-participant on Friday, so we’ll have to more clarification on that. Irving didn’t practice again, so his status is in doubt. David Moore suggests that Williams could go to IR to make room for Irving.The Cowboys also have a group of players who are listed on the injury report but appear to be full-go’s for the game as they all practiced in full on Friday. This includes Tavon Austin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Cole Beasley, Ezekiel Elliott and Jeff Heath.Lamar Miller has shown up as questionable on the Texans injury list, along with Keke Coutee and Will Fuller. Cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Brian Peters have been ruled out.

 We know who teams are by now. Their identities are Allen Hurns Jersey firm, their cards are on the table, and everyone is doing everything they can to make sure they are playing football past Week 17. In a league where only 12 of the 32 teams get to do so, it can be a difficult road.The Dallas Cowboys find themselves with a 3-4 record at the season’s midway point. They’ve already had their bye and we won’t see them until Monday night when they host the Tennessee Titans while debuting Amari Cooper. What about before Monday night, though? Sunday is full of NFL games and a lot of them can/will impact the rest of the Cowboys season and are therefore important. Who do we need to win these games? Who are we rooting for? Here’s this week’s official rooting guide.NOON GAMES: Bills, Buccaneers Authentic Deonte Thompson Jersey , Lions, & FalconsThere are seven games taking place in the early slot of Week 9’s Sunday action, but three of them feature two AFC teams and are therefore not something that concerns the Cowboys. Amazingly, of all six teams involved zero are from the AFC South so it’s not like any of them even play Dallas this season. Root for who you please here.The Buffalo Bills are coming off of just playing on Monday Night Football themselves and they’re hosting the Chicago Bears who might be Khalil Mack-less for the second straight week. Chicago is 4-3 on the season and could very well be a team that’s vying for a wildcard spot come playoff time. It’s common sense to root for AFC over NFC teams.Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsThe NFC South matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers is certainly an interesting one and will feature Ryan Fitzpatrick returning to the position under center for the Bucs. Dallas will host Tampa Bay in Week 16 (maybe we’ll get another kettle game) and already lost to the Panthers. Between the two, odds are definitely higher that Carolina will be a contender come late December than the Buccaneers so we need them to take any loss they can from here on out. A similar logic is at play between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings as they clash within the NFC North. Minnesota is much more likely to be the team in contention than the team who’s head coach did this. It might be tough for Detroit without Golden Tate on their squad but they do now have former Cowboys receiver Andy Jones taking his place. Championship!The Washington Redskins are the only division rival of the Cowboys to play in Week 9 as both the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are on a bye. Atlanta has the ability to potentially be a wildcard contender with the Cowboys down the road, but the most important thing the Cowboys can ever get across the league is a loss from a division rival. This is the most important thing we’re rooting for this week as the Redskins are already 5-2. Go Falcons.AFTERNOON GAMES: Chargers and RamsThe Houston Texans traded with the Denver Broncos for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas this week and that’s particularly spicy today of all days because the Texans visit the Broncos. Rooting for either side here doesn’t necessarily influence the Cowboys one way or another so let’s just root for a good time.Onto more serious matters Youth Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. This falls under the classic “AFC over NFC” umbrella, but it has a pinch more of oomph as the Seahawks are a team that beat the Cowboys this season. We need them to have a worse record than Dallas at any cost.Jake Roth-USA TODAY SportsThe game of the afternoon is undoubtedly the Los Angeles Rams at the New Orleans Saints. The logic in rooting for the Rams to keep up their undefeated season is simple. At this point they can just run away with the number one seed (which would also keep them incentivized to beat Seattle for the second time in Week 10 and we just discussed needing them to lose) but beyond that the Saints aren’t necessarily a lock to win their own division.While the Saints certainly look like the best team in the NFC South, the Panthers are hanging around and getting hotter with each passing week. If somehow Carolina were able to leapfrog New Orleans, we would need them to be beneath the Cowboys in the standings and as an added point to all of this, Dallas will host the Saints later this season (when Gil Brandt goes into the Ring of Honor). The Cowboys still have the ability to control something against the Saints so they can add to whatever help they get come late November.SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Patriots, duhIt’s a strange sight to see what with the Green Bay Packers playing like a team that could miss the playoffs without suffering an Aaron Rodgers injury , but such is life in the NFL these days. We don’t need to take any chances with the Packers. We need them buried. Get it done, Pats. Get it done big time.Obviously we’re all also rooting for the Cowboys on Monday night against the Titans, but that goes without saying. If we can get all of these (hopefully the all-AFC games reward you in fantasy at least) that would be great:Bills (2-6) over Bears (4-3)Buccaneers (3-4) over Panthers (5-2)Lions (3-4) over Vikings (4-3-1)Falcons (3-4) over Redskins (5-2)Chargers (5-2) over Seahawks (4-2)Rams (8-0) over Saints (6-1)Patriots (6-2) over Packers (3-3-1)Cowboys (3-4) over Titans (3-4) How many do you think the Cowboys will get? Which ones? The Cowboys had two takeaways in the first quarter Monday night and converted with only seven points. They got an interception early in Sunday’s game and ended up with only a field goal.Rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who is starting in place of the injured Sean Lee, made his first career pick.He intercepted Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who appeared to have never seen Zach Ertz as he hit Vander Esch between the numbers. Vander Esch returned it 28 yards to the Philadelphia 38.The Cowboys gained 31 yards on eight plays but stalled at the Philadelphia 7 yard-line.Brett Maher sneaked his 25-yard kick inside the right upright for a 3-0 lead with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter.Dak Prescott threw an interception in the end zone after a second Marcus Mariota fumble against the Titans last week Zack Martin Jersey , denying the Cowboys points. They lost 28-14.The Eagles have only one first down and 28 yards late in the first quarter.

 Wednesday , but a return to the starting lineup may not come for at least another week.Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that the Bears plan to start Chase Daniel at quarterback against the Giants on Sunday. Daniel started in Chicago’s Thanksgiving win over the Lions while Trubisky was inactive due to the right shoulder injury he is still dealing with this week.Garafolo also reports that Trubisky could play right now, but that the team is choosing to play it safe. Head coach Matt Nagy has hinted that the team would go in this direction by comparing Trubisky’s situation to the one the team was in with linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Allen Robinson earlier this season.Both those players were held out of two straight games earlier this year to ensure they recovered fully from injuries before getting back on the field. The Bears won both of those games and they’ll be hoping that things play out the same way if Trubisky is sidelined again this week. There’s a big gap between the best and worst teams in the NFC North.That was on display in Chicago, where the first-place Bears easily beat the last-place Lions, 34-22. It was the first meeting of first-year coaches Matt Nagy and Matt Patricia, and it wasn’t close: Nagy’s team came out with a great game plan Roquan Smith Jersey , while Patricia’s team came out looking unprepared, and by the time the dust settled the Bears had a 26-0 lead.Mitchell Trubisky was effective and in control of Nagy’s offense. For much of the season the Bears’ defense has been the key to their success, but Trubisky appears to be growing in his second year in the NFL. If he can keep playing this way, the Bears are going to be a tough team to beat down the stretch.The Lions will just be playing meaningless games down the stretch. Matthew Stafford didn’t do much on offense, and Patricia’s defense looked clueless trying to stop Nagy’s offense. The Lions Authentic Allen Robinson Jersey , who were 9-7 two years in a row before firing Jim Caldwell this offseason, have gone in the wrong direction under Patricia. Today Patricia wasted timeouts, made foolish decisions to punt when the Lions needed to be bold and go for it, and generally just didn’t look like he was up to the task of being a head coach.Not everything is perfect for the Bears. Particularly alarming is that kicker Cody Parkey missed two extra points and two field goals. The Bears just haven’t been able to find a reliable kicker since cutting Robbie Gould three years ago.But the Bears are in much, much better shape than the Lions. Perhaps after today’s game , some reporter should ask Patricia, “You took over a 9-7 team this year, while Matt Nagy took over a 5-11 team this year. Why is his team so much better than yours?”Just don’t slouch while you’re asking that.

 It’s the late stages of the NFL preseason so you know what that means ... it’s time to recklessly speculate! *Confetti drops Youth Nick Kwiatkoski Jersey , bells and whistles go off spectacularly, fireworks explode.One of those discussions centers (pun intended) around why the Bears insist on putting a natural center in James Daniels at left guard after giving him exclusive center snaps for the past few weeks. Does it have anything to do with quarterback and center feelings? Another is horrid planning in advance by Chicago general manager Ryan Pace to address his 2018 edge pass rush: is he that complacent?It’s true!Robert ZeglinskiOn the latest episode of Windy City Gridiron Radio, Editor-in-chief Lester Wiltfong Jr. joins me to discuss this Bears offensive line shuffling and their pass rush issues. He’s my favorite offensive tackle ever and the big man has thoughts on a lack of continuity up front. As always: name a better duo, I’ll wait. Just as a reminder, WCG Radio is a brand we’re really invested in building here at Windy City Gridiron. You, as the listener, deserve the absolute best out of a Bears podcast, and we’re going to try to give that to you with our hot takes responsible opinions. We appreciate you listening, and hope you’ll stay along for the ride.Now here’s the latest episode on Daniels finding a position, a lack of a Bears edge, and summer plans. This is Episode 45: Joel Iyiegbuniwe edition. Subscribe, rate, and review on iTunes!iTunesIt’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!Robert ZeglinskiAlso on BlogTalk RadioOn this episode of WCG RadioAdam Shaheen and Leonard Floyd injuries: how can Chicago weather the storm?Matt Nagy’s response to injuries is keyJames Daniels on a roller coaster: ending the madnessTin-foil hat time: Does Mitch Trubisky or Cody Whitehair have more influence over center than originally believed?Breaking down Ryan Pace’s poor planning on the edge: how the Bears got here, and options (trade for Mack!!!)What to watch for against the Chiefs: no one get injured. No one. And , Nagy “Revenge Game”!End-of-summer plans: Catch Em’ All!Robert is an editor, writer, and producer for Windy City Gridiron, The Rock River Times, The Athletic Chicago, and other fine publications. Lester is the Editor-in-chief of Windy City Gridiron. You can follow them on Twitter @RobertZeglinski and @wiltfongjr. Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has filed a lawsuit against famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews and several other parties for alleged negligence during a 2016 knee surgery that caused career-ending complications, seeking at least $180 million for potentially lost earnings.Brad Sohn, an attorney for Floyd, confirmed Tuesday the complaint was filed in Orlando, Florida, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court for Orange County. Sohn said he believes the case can be made for damages exceeding $200 million, when projecting career contract values for the NFL's premier defensive tackles.Floyd carried that potential, but he played in only 44 games, the last on Sept. 11, 2016."He's trying to figure out what's next for him in life," Sohn said. "That's not an easy thing Eddie Jackson Jersey , because he had no interest in ceasing to play football."Floyd was drafted by the Vikings out of Florida with the 23rd overall pick in 2013, and he became a full-time starter in his second season. Floyd missed three games in 2015 for cartilage cleanup in his left knee, which continued to bother him the following training camp after the Vikings exercised the fifth-year option on his contract. After playing in the 2016 season opener, Floyd needed a similar arthroscopic operation on the right knee.During that surgery, Sohn said, doctors determined a more comprehensive procedure was necessary to help stimulate regrowth of Floyd's cartilage. After drilling into the knee bone, a post-operation pain blocker was injected into the nerve.Floyd's leg never fully recovered enough to be able to return to the field. He was placed on the non-football injury list before the 2017 season, after which his rookie contract expired."Sharrif is never going to play football again because of permanent nerve and muscle damage in and around his right knee and right lower leg. That was directly caused, we allege, from the nerve block," Sohn said. "The only reason it was even arguably necessary is because a far more significant surgery was performed than what had been represented to Sharrif. They told him he'd go in for a routine scope and be out a few weeks, and then they did a really complex procedure and required a significant pain intervention that ended his career."Andrews, two surgical fellows, an anesthesiologist, the hospital and the organizations associated with the doctors are named as defendants in the case. The Associated Press left a message Tuesday night with the Florida-based Andrews Institute seeking comment.

The Cowboys played their last game on NBC which features the green zone Youth Maliek Collins Jersey , and they may have just now entered the twilight zone. Brice Butler is back in Dallas.It makes sense for the Cowboys to bring back Brice Butler. He’s performed well within this offense and he has great chemistry with Dak Prescott. He spoke to the Dallas Morning News about this, and when you look at what he said specifically, it really is a no-brainer to bring back someone that he’s so comfortable with.While the team’s quarterback may like him there are plenty of Cowboys fans who still hold a bit of a grudge against Butler. Back in January, the world saw Brice appear on FS1’s Undisputed and he made some comments that got a little bit overblown, these are the Cowboys after all, that at the time had a lot to do with Dez Bryant (this was before Dez’s release and own public thrashings of the team).Now that Butler is back with the Cowboys this video is definitely worth re-watching. Something that is particularly interesting is what happens at about the 2:50 mark when he is asked if he expects to be back.Butler talks about how he believes the market for his services would be something that he wanted to explore (he signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals but was released before Week 1) and he did note that he was open to a return to Dallas. He did offer a bit of an explanation, though.Earlier in the interview Brice notes that he discussed things with the team while still on it, things concerning his production. According to Butler he asked (not in a forceful way) to be featured more given that there was seemingly always success when he was highlighted in the offense. There’s a case to be made for that to a degree, Prescott sort of did that himself, but it’s not exactly a foregone conclusion.Butler was prodded on whether Dez Bryant would need to be gone in order for him to return and he did his best to respect Dez with his answer, but he did drop an interesting line in his closing thoughts.What did Brice need to know? What changes are potentially going to be made? Considering that he’s back with the Cowboys it stands to reason that he got some of the answers that he was looking for. Maybe the team does plan to highlight him more, but if that’s the case why would they wait until Week 3 to make a decision of that? Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley are friends from their days as foes at Ohio State and Penn State.Now that they're set to share the field for the first time as pros, the running back of the Dallas Cowboys remembers his only college encounter with Barkley, the promising rookie of the New York Giants.To wit, the matching hurdle plays that Elliott recalls when Barkley was a freshman for the Nittany Lions and outgained the reigning offensive MVP from the first championship game in the four-team playoff era a season earlier. Elliott's Buckeyes got the bigger prize Youth La'el Collins Jersey , a 38-10 win."I went out and hurdled a guy and literally the next drive he comes back and hurdles one of our guys," Elliott said. "That was pretty cool to me just to see him come back and do the same thing."Just as in that scenario three years ago, Elliott is the established star after leading the NFL in rushing as a rookie in 2016, and Barkley is the first-year upstart. As for the bigger prize Sunday night, the NFC East rivals need the win with both coming off season-opening losses."We don't worry about that," first-year Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "That's fun for everybody to talk about outside the building. We didn't do enough in the first game to win the game, and we're working to do what we can to win this next one. Period. End of story."It could be just the start of the Elliott-Barkley story. Friends since that night in Columbus, Ohio, after Barkley rushed for 194 yards while Elliott had 153 yards and a touchdown, they are now among the most important pieces for storied franchises trying to get back to the Super Bowl.And each was the first running back taken in his draft: Elliott fourth overall in 2016 and Barkley at No. 2 this year."They're powerfully built guys," Shurmur said. "When I say 'collision balance,' in the hole, guys bouncing off, and they can keep their balance. (Elliott's) production in his first two years had nothing to do with us selecting Saquon, but they're similar in a lot of ways."Things to consider as these rivals meet within the first two weeks of the season for the sixth time in seven years:EYES ON THE RUNNERSThe Cowboys need to establish Elliott earlier than they did in a 16-8 loss to Carolina Youth Antwaun Woods Jersey , but will need more help from a passing game still trying to figure out life after Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.The Giants wouldn't mind getting more from Barkley, even though a 68-yard touchdown in a 20-15 loss to Jacksonville made him the franchise's first to debut with a 100-yard rushing game (106). Now he'll try to be the first Giants rookie since Eddie Price in 1950 with consecutive 100-yard outings.DON'T FORGET THE BLOCKINGThere are questions up front for both teams coming out of the openers. Giants right tackle Ereck Flowers drew tripping and holding penalties on the first series after an offseason move from the left side. Free agent addition Nate Solder had a holding penalty at left tackle.The Cowboys are still adjusting to Joe Looney at center with four-time Pro Bowler Travis Frederick out indefinitely with a nerve disorder. Rookie left guard Connor Williams was beaten for two sacks. And one of the mainstays, five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, had a pair of penalties.BECKHAM'S BACKIn his first game since an ankle injury 11 months ago and since signing $95, five-year extension, Odell Beckham Jr. had 11 catches for 111 yards against the Jaguars. The star receiver has had his moments against the Cowboys, most notably the leaping one-handed catch for a touchdown as a rookie four years ago. That was one of his two games against Dallas with two TDs. He has five scores in six games against the Cowboys.NOT SO SPECIALGiants punt returner Kaelin Clay, signed after the final cuts, had 4 yards on three returns. He fumbled the last one at the Giants 19-yard line, but he is getting a second chance. The Cowboys cut Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, in favor of Brett Maher. The CFL veteran missed his first NFL kick, from 47 yards, when the Cowboys were trying to get within seven points late in the third quarter.

 The year was 1971 and Dooley’s Bears had not been to the postseason since winning the 1963 NFL championship. After starting the season 6-3 , they got whipped by the Lions and faced what Dooley called a “super-must” game on Monday Night Football: the team had to win out to make the playoffs.Their opponent, the Miami Dolphins, was in the opposite position in every way. They were young — six years in existence, and only two in the NFL. They were undecorated — the year prior they reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.They were good. On that day, the Dolphins held the NFL’s best record, 8-1-1.That game in November of ‘71 was the first between these two teams. The storied Bears desperately needed a win. The upstart Dolphins had victories to spare. And what happened? Dolphins 34, Bears 3.This was the beginning of a short, tortured history for Bears fans, one that proceeds to its 13th chapter this Sunday and one that Bears fans ignore at our own peril. You can’t exactly call it a rivalry, but the history certainly poses an existential crisis to me, at least, and presumably other Bears fans bothered by this breakdown in birthrights.Because here’s what bugs me about the Dolphins as it relates to our beloved Bears: this is a franchise we’re supposed to trounce. Generally speaking, the big bad Midwestern Bears weather get-off-the-bus-running-and-let’s-get-grimy charter franchise is supposed to mop the floor with a football team from Florida born in the AFL. That has not been the case. As Bears fans, we take our relationship with certain teams more seriously than others. When we lost to the Packers in Week 1, for instance, we experienced that as more than just one game in the standings. We had identity angst: “Oh no, we STILL can’t beat the Packers.” We lamented the impact that the loss had on our all-time series record. We absorbed the deeper despair of lumbering out of Lambeau with yet another loss.This is natural with the Packers and certain other teams, because obviously there are divisional rivalries, geographic rivalries and longevity rivalries. The Dolphins fail all three of these, so we don’t pay them much mind beyond the limited scope of our head-to-head matchups.Yet in the same way that losing repeatedly to Green Bay is bad for our psyche, or becoming underdogs to the Lions is bad for our psyche, this terminal battery at the hands of the Dolphins leaves lasting scars. We simply don’t acknowledge them.We should.Chicago Tribune Womens Eric Kush Jersey , December 3, 1985. (via this:In 12 contests, we have won only four times. Did you hear me? We are 4-8 lifetime against a football team from South Florida. Not one of our four wins offered any lasting merit. We played the Dolphins three times in the 1970s — ‘71, ‘75, ‘79 — losing all three games by a combined score of 111-32. During that time, the Dolphins became an NFL powerhouse, winning two Super Bowls, appearing in a third and notching the NFL’s only undefeated season ever in 1972.Whose record did they break when they won that Super Bowl? Why, ours of course. We went undefeated in 1934 and 1942, losing the NFL championship each time.Then we get to the famous match in 1985, as the 12-0 Bears rolled into Miami to face the 8-4 Dolphins.We all know how that went down: Dolphins 38, Bears 24. With that, we lost our shot at going undefeated and had to forever hear about it from Dolphins fans who can still claim that their ‘72 team was the greatest of all-time.On opening day 1988, we finally got our first win against Miami, a 34-7 shellacking at Soldier Field. But that was Week 1, and it’s tough to really hang your hat on a Week 1 victory when you’re trying to make up for four losses including the ‘85 game.“I don’t put too much stock in the first game,” Mike Ditka said after the win. “I said that before in the preseason.”Our next game against Miami was 1991, also at Soldier. We blew a 13-3 4th quarter lead and lost 16-13 in overtime.We won a forgettable game in ‘94, 17-14, for win #2 in the series.We had our most memorable win in 1997, erasing a 33-18 4th quarter deficit to win 36-33 in overtime. This was made both more memorable and less relevant because we were 0-7 at the time.We lost 27-6 at the end of a doomed 2002.Our next game against the Dolphins was 1985-lite. That was 2006, with a 7-0 record against a 1-6 Dolphins team led by Joey Harrington. I was in the Soldier Field stands that day. The Dolphins took a 14-3 lead in the 2nd quarter on a Jason Taylor pick-six off of one of the worst balls Rex ever threw Youth Tarik Cohen Jersey , and ran all over us with Ronnie Brown (157 yards on 29 carries) en route to a 31-13 Bears loss, our first of the year.They got us again, ya know?In 2010 we beat them 16-0 in the second most boring Bears shutout I’ve ever watched. That was a playoff year and our third straight win, so perhaps this is the most significant win we’ve had against the Dolphins.That said, when was the last time you reminisced about our sparkling 16-0 blanking of the 2010 Dolphins? You haven’t and you know it.From the Chicago Tribune, Oct. 20, 2014. (via, there was the 27-14 loss in 2014, AKA the “Brandon Marshall ‘Unacceptable’ Game.” You remember: Brandon used the word “unacceptable” 17 times in a postgame interview, and probably yelled at Robbie Gould in the locker room.The next two games of this season were the back-to-back 50-poppers from the Pats and Pack, a three-game stretch that spelled the end of the Trestman/Emery era.Now add to that these insult-meets-injury scenarios:Super Bowl wins: 2-1 DolphinsSuper Bowl appearances: 3-2 DolphinsDon Shula passed George Halas for most wins by a coach in NFL historyThe Bears lost a Super Bowl in MiamiThe Dolphins punked out in the ‘85 AFC championship game, denying us our rematchRecent history doesn’t do us much better. Yes, the Dolphins have only reached the playoffs twice since 2002, with just three 10-win seasons. But the Bears have only reached the playoffs three times in that span, with four 10-win seasons.The Dolphins perfectly encapsulate our long, Bear Down nightmare. They represent the gap between our century-long greatness and our 30-year failure. They are the embodiment of the cruel irony that “old school” doesn’t bring new wins. They are the unrequited lust for our own historic stature.My point, my fellow Bears fans, is that we have to take this game more seriously beyond just a win or a loss. Beyond whether Mitch develops further, Floyd gets a sack, Nagy calls a good game or James Daniels plays well at guard, a deeper, more lasting emotional toll is at stake. We are 3-1 and coming off a remarkable victory. We can fumble that momentum away at the hands of our secret adversaries or keep it rolling. In doing so , we can shove the Dolphins into the abyss and correct a trend long in need of rectification. It is time to turn the tide against this team. It is time to march them back to their beach.---Jack M Silverstein is Windy City Gridiron’s Bears historian, and author of “How The GOAT Was Built: 6 Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls.” He is the proprietor of Chicago sports history Instagram “A Shot on Ehlo.” Say hey at @readjack.George Taliaferro, pioneer and 1949 Bears draftee, passes away George Taliaferro, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the first black player drafted by the NFL, died Monday night at the age of 91.The Bears selected Taliaferro out of Indiana University in the 13th round of the 1949 NFL draft, held in December of 1948, making him the first black player drafted by an NFL team. A native of Gary, Indiana, Taliaferro grew up a Bears fan, and was stunned to get the news that his favorite team had drafted him.He recounted that story in 2008 to the Chicago Tribune’s Fred Mitchell, noting that while eating at a restaurant on 47th Street in Chicago after a football practice, football star Earl Banks joined Taliaferro’s group and asked, “Guess who was drafted by the Bears?”“We all named white college football players that were known to us or that we played against,” Taliaferro told Mitchell. “After we exhausted all of the names, Banks pulled out (a newspaper), and across the front page of the entire paper was ‘TALIAFERRO DRAFTED BY BEARS.’ I almost choked.”Had he come to the Bears, Taliaferro would have been the first black player in franchise history. But a week before the draft, he had signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dons of the All American Football Conference, where he began his career instead. Taliaferro never played for the Bears — the first black player in franchise history instead was Eddie Macon, who the team drafted in the 2nd round in 1952 — but he did go on to a stellar professional career. After one year with the Dons, he joined the NFL in 1950 with the New York Yanks and played for the Yanks Youth Mitchell Trubisky Jersey , Texans, Colts and Eagles in six NFL seasons. He was a Pro Bowler in ‘51, ‘52 and ‘53.Though technically drafted as a halfback, Taliaferro’s other historic professional distinction is as the first black player drafted to the NFL with quarterback skills. According to Greg Howard’s tome on Deadspin “The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks,” Taliaferro was the third African American QB in NFL history, albeit in the position’s early deviations.This versatility can be seen in his professional statistics. He rushed for 2,266 yards on 498 carries with 15 touchdowns, caught 95 passes for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns, passed for 1,633 yards on 284 attempts and 10 touchdowns, amassed a 37.5 yards per punt average on 169 punts, including a league-leading 76 in 1951, and gained 2,354 yards on 131 combined kick and punt returns with one touchdown.Wrote Howard:As Taliaferro told the New York Times’s William C. Rhoden in 2008, after watching the Miami Dolphins and Ronnie Brown effectively bring back the single-wing offense in the form of the Wildcat, “You see what this kid is doing? That was the fear of every defensive coordinator when I was in pro football: ‘You got to watch out for Taliaferro. You got to know where he is.’”For more on Taliaferro, see The Undefeated’s interview with him last year, and this memorial from his alma mater Indiana University, where the above photo is from.---Jack M Silverstein is Windy City Gridiron’s Bears historian, and author of “How The GOAT Was Built: 6 Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls.” He is the proprietor of Chicago sports history Instagram “A Shot on Ehlo.” Say hey at @readjack.

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